Tuesday, February 11, 2014

I'm calling bullshit on the retirement boom.

"By the CBO's reckoning, the economy will soon slam into a demographic wall: The vast baby boom generation will retire." Emphasis mine.

For years I've been reading these stories about how the baby boomers were going to retire en-mass and change this economy forever. Personally, I think that is one of the biggest fairy tails ever told and I'm gonna tell you why.

My 14 year old mother was from the tail end of the baby boom generation. So I've spent a considerable amount of time watching them. And resenting them in a way.  There is a demographic change going on, and it isn't the baby boomers retiring. It's the resentment from the generations after. Let me explain.

The baby boom generation got to live like there was no tomorrow. YOLO was their rallying cry. And it's easy to only live once if all the generations after you are paying for it. I read a comment once that summed up everything I feel about the baby boom generation. "They squandered everything the Greatest Generation left to them, they spent everything they made, and now they are spending everything their children make". This generation in particular saved nothing. If you could save less than nothing - that is where the baby boom generation sits.

Seekingalpha has an interesting theory on why this occurred. Be warned you have to sign in to read this article and it's the only source.  I'm gonna paraphrase. Basically it says my grandmothers generation (who spent her entire life on welfare) was raised in a deflationary environment. My mother was raised in an inflationary environment which caused them to think they needed to spend their money before it was worthless. And well... mission accomplished! It's a mindset they are taking to the grave.

Now it sounds shitty to not want to take care of your elders. And it isn't like you don't want to take care of them. You do however get really resentful when they have done exactly zero to save for their later years. I have to save for my later years, plus your later years. If you don't think a whole bunch of generations are going to tell you to pound sand, I'm here to tell you you are wrong. Shitty sounding or not. That is reality.

I do not believe for one second that baby boomers can retire. En-mass or any other type of mass. This generation will be working until the day they die. Google it.

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